Sleek Peek: Local Jewelry From B.D’angelo is Understated, Yet Edgy

Marissa Beatrice’s B.D’angelo jewelry pieces are handcrafted in her Mililani studio.


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Clockwise, from top left: 18K gold vermeil cuff with chain, $216. Balance Collection 14K gold vermeil pendant necklace, price upon request. Lost Boys 18K gold vermeil skull earrings, $136. Balance Collection 14K gold vermeil ring, price upon request.
Photos: David Croxford

 

One glance around Marissa Beatrice’s Mililani studio and it’s clear, this isn’t some hobbyist’s play area. The B.D’angelo designer is the real deal. Her dedication to great craftsmanship is evidenced in both her massive tool collection, a dizzying array of pliers, hammers, blades and shapers that cover her work table and fill the drawers beneath it, and the serious pieces of machinery scattered about the cozy, 10-by-12-foot room. In one corner sits an industrial-size acetylene tank used for soldering. In another, the 50-pound beast of a polisher that Beatrice brought back from California. “It was too heavy to ship at a decent price, so I bought it a plane ticket and hand-carried it home,” she says.

Such dedication is part of what has made B.D’angelo a favorite of the local fashion set. Launched in 2010, shortly after Beatrice graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with a degree in jewelry design, the line is all about sleek, minimalist styles that are modern with an edge.  

And, of course, great quality. For Beatrice, substance always wins out over flash. “Statement pieces don’t have to be loud,” she says, “but I like to know that there is some thought or story behind it.”

Her beautifully made first collection, titled Lost Boys, drew inspiration from the tale of Peter Pan’s rough-and-tumble gang and the notion of staying true to who you are. Its standouts include dainty brass skull and pyramid styles cast from wax carvings that Bea-trice created by hand. It’s a tedious process—a single carving can take up to a week to make. But it’s Beatrice’s favorite way to bring her designs to life. “It’s a fun mental challenge,” she says. “I find it therapeutic.”

 

Left: The designer takes a break at her work station. Right: The sanding process.

 

Today, the B.D’angelo line has grown to include gem-dotted ID bracelets, bird skull pendants, chain-linked cuffs and rings topped with faceted nuggets. In addition to brass, all are now also available in gold vermeil and sterling silver.

As for the next chapter? A peek at the designer’s mood board offers some hints as to the next collection’s theme. Regal lions keep watch next to romantic desertscapes, and ornate daggers are collaged with Greco-Roman architecture. But Beatrice isn’t ready to give away the plotline quite yet. “I will tell you that I’m calling it the Balance Collection,” she divulges. “It’s a reminder to stay grounded and to not focus too heavily on any one thing. Definitely keep an eye out for some finger armor, that’s all I’m saying!”

B.D’angelo is available at all Fighting Eel locations and at bdangelo.com.

 

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Honolulu Magazine December 2018
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